AT&T To Acquire Leap Wireless For $1.19 Billion Dollars

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In a slightly shocking move, AT&T announced it has agreed to acquire Leap Wireless for $1.19 billion in cash. The deal, which works out to $15 per share for Leap shareholders is a 88% premium on the Leap closing price this afternoon. AT&T announced the deal includes Leap’s licenses, network assets, retail stores and around five million subscribers.

Leap has long been tossed around as a possible acquisition target for T-Mobile as part of the way for the Magenta carrier to boost its subscriber base. In a post- MetroPCS world, the number of carriers the size of Leap or larger are limited leaving slim pickings for possible acquisition targets. Leap’s total network covers around 96 million people in the US and with sizable AWS spectrum holdings, reports continued to place T-Mobile as a frontrunner for possible takeover.

The deal leaves the four national carriers and US Cellular as the largest wireless networks in the US.

Engadget

 

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  • taron19119

    Oh god no how do we stop this

    • xmiro

      write the FCC and DOJ when the public comment period is announced

  • phone-o-logist

    Wait, hasn’t U.S. Cellular been bought out by Sprint? Just saying. There is less and less choice from what I’m seeing.

    • taron19119

      US Cellular was not brought out by Sprint US Cellulars Detroit market was brought out by Sprint

      • Bryan Sandoval

        Same thing here in Chicago, point blank to customer’s they need to buy sprint phones

        • taron19119

          yeah I meant to say cicago and Sprint is offering them a discount to keep them as a customer

  • Dakota

    Great, less competition in the US cellular market.. Just what we’ve been asking for

    • taron19119

      this is not good AT&T does not need more spectrum T Mobile needs the spectrum more

  • Marco Braggion

    I don’t think the FCC will let it go through because of the simple fact that AT&T is buying a smaller carrier just for spectrum.

    • taron19119

      only way it will not go through is if we all write in about how this does not benefit consumers leap is small enough that it might just pass if we don’t say anything

  • Mark Reese

    the government should stop this and force T-Mobile to buy them …

    • taron19119

      the government will never force anyone to buy anything

      • Rich0700

        Except Health Insurance. lol

        • xmiro

          that’s in doubt now but why should I foot someone’s health bill because they didn’t have insurance even though they could afford it?

        • Jason Crumbley

          You aren’t. People get help buying insurance if they can not afford it on their own.
          By the way. You foot someone else’s bill every time you go to the doctor, hospital etc. They jack the prices up to recoup the costs of all the unpaid medical bills of people without insurance.

        • kalel33

          And car insurance.

    • James Shaggy

      If this does go through the FCC could force at&t to divest some spectrum but they need to make sure at&t doesnt give it to Verizon

      • taron19119

        Leap Wireless is too small to divest any of it

        • James Shaggy

          it doesnt have to be the spectrum they directly acquire from leap, it could be in markets where at&t has excessive spectrum compared to the competition in that market. The FCC could also ban at&t from further spectrum gain until enough of the spectrum they have is deployed with broadband services.

        • taron19119

          only thing I see them up to make this go through is customers and even that may not work cuz they have no contracts and walk away for freely

      • superg05

        and Verizon just gave at&t some 700 spectrum

  • taron19119

    we stopped AT&T from getting T Mobile so let’s stop AT&T from getting Leap Wireless aka cricket

    • kalel33

      They stopped the T-mobile acquisition because they wanted 4 main competitors. AT&T’s purchase of Leap still leaves 4 main competitors, so it’s not the same thing.

  • kev2684

    T-Mo could’ve benefited on Leap’s AWS spectrum. they could release more 20x20mhz markets with them on board.

  • Pdx

    T-mobile needs to offer more $$$, they might get LEAP and leap in spectrum!!

    • taron19119

      yeah T Mobile don’t have the money aT&T has

    • Jay J. Blanco

      T-Mobile can buy some spectrum from leap in stead of buying the whole Leap

  • Pdx

    t-mobile needs to spend more $$$ to get LEAP and the leap in spectrum!!

  • Jay J. Blanco

    This sucks. Well T-Mobile had their chance to make a offer. Hopefully this means Dish and tmo might still be hooking up lol

    • taron19119

      we can still can stop this by writeing in about how this is not good for consumers

    • Whiskers

      Screw Dish , they are a nightmare in action already.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        im still leaving options with Dish. Such as buying spectrum from Dish in new markets. not necessarily merging or a buyout.

        • sidekicker89

          Does anyone know where the markets are that Dish holds spectrum in? Let’s be honest.. T-Mobile needs spectrum and they are running out of options.. U.S Cellular is up next on the chopping block.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Dish has nationwide spectrum they are missing some areas in California. But ive been researching and if Dish doesnt do anything with the spectrum their sitting on theyll sell it.

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          Dish owns 40Mhz of AWS-4 AKA S-Band spectrum and another 6MHZ of 700Mhz E-block(might be D) nationwide.(except for NY SF,LA those areas, Dish owns no 700Mhz spectrum)

          It is worth noting that the 700Mhz is unpaired.

        • Alex Zapata

          Unpaired spectrum? Time for some TD-LTE.

        • James Shaggy

          That still might be a good combo with Tmobile. Dish and Tmobile together could buy some 600mhz band and build out a crazy LTE network with 600/AWS/AWS4 and TD-LTE 700

      • ClausWillSeeYouNow

        People like you make me sick. Why don’t you just be quiet, Whiskers.

        You have no bloody facts and all you do is bad-mouth companies like Dish.

        Where’s your proof? Huh? Where is it? Dish already has the best whole-home HD DVR, the lowest prices for TV anywhere, and massive spectrum. Methinks you’re a hypocrite because if you really cared about T-Mobile you’d sponsor whatever’s best for them, which is clearly Dish.

        No facts, all hot air. I am SO SICK of seeing people bash Dish on these forums.

  • Aurizen

    I hope they dont approve, and deny they own enough companies and spectrum. there a freaking monopoly.

  • superg05

    they didn’t want t-mobile to have them and Verizon just gave at&t some 700 spectrum


    AT&T Agrees to Acquire 700 MHz Spectrum from Verizon Wireless”

    Dallas, Texas, January 25, 2013
    Share:

    AT&T* announced in an 8-K filing today that it has agreed to acquire spectrum in the 700 MHz B band from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in several markets, including Phoenix, Ariz., Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore.

    The 700 MHz licenses to be acquired by AT&T cover 42 million people in 18 states – California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

    This acquisition complements AT&T’s existing holdings in the 700 MHz B band and will allow AT&T to continue to quickly deploy 4G LTE services to meet demand for mobile Internet services on a wide array of smartphones, tablets and other devices. The company announced in November 2012 that it plans to reach 300 million people in the U.S. with its 4G LTE network by the end of 2014.

    In conjunction with this transaction, AT&T will sell to Grain Management a single AWS license and will lease 700 MHz spectrum from Grain Management in three markets.

    The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. AT&T anticipates closing the transaction in the second half of 2013.

  • http://www.makeuseof.com Danny Stieben

    T-Mobile really needs Leap’s spectrum, so it’d be nice to see T-Mobile providing a counter offer. I wouldn’t rely on the FCC to deny the acquisition by AT&T.

    • sidekicker89

      It’s not too late for a counter offer is right?? By the way doesn’t AT&T have enough spectrum already?!? Hopefully the DOJ blocks AT&T’s deal so T-Mobile can get Leap!

  • taron19119

    I’m going to do the same thing I did when at&t try to bye tmobile and write a 4 page letter about how this will not benefit consumers

    • Jay J. Blanco

      I’m gonna do the same thing. *gets pen out*

      • taron19119

        yeah I’m trying to see what I can use to help stop this but it is hard to find things wrong with this

        • Jay J. Blanco

          1 reason is reduced competition. But AT&T is gonna do what T-Mobile is doing to Metro so idk how that reason works out.

        • taron19119

          my point exactly that’s not a good reason because they’re keeping cricket

        • Jay J. Blanco

          AT&T already bought Alltel. Now Leap :(

        • sushimane

          verizon bought alltel.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Verizon bought majority of Alltel. But there was alittle bit of Alltel left. they had about half a million customers. and AT&T bought the last little bit that was left i think last year Q4 or this year Q1.

  • BlackLighted

    So much for ever seeing 20*20 LTE in Philly now, their last option just left the building.

    • Eric

      What about Metro?

      • BlackLighted

        Metro only has 10MHz in Philly and it’s tied up until T-Mo shuts it down in 2015, Leap has 20MHz.

  • xmiro

    Well at least they aren’t overpaying by $10-$15 billion but only $300-$400 milion.
    In other news, Leap’s market cap before the announcement was 630.79 million. It’s up $9+ or 116% in after hours trading to $17 per share

  • Amitus

    It isn’t just the spectrum AT&T wants. When T-Mobile bought Metro this really forced AT&T’s hand and they needed to make this purchased.

    Cricket has a huge Pre Paid base and right now probably 70% of people who buy AT&T prepaid do it because they broke their contract phone. This will really help AT&T be a player in the Pre Paid business.

    And as an added bonus they get more spectrum.

    • taron19119

      that’s not true cricket is losing customers left and right crickets value is its spectrum

    • http://www.makeuseof.com Danny Stieben

      AT&T is currently not accepting new Straight Talk customers on their network. They’re definitely pro-postpaid.

  • Damian

    Ah Crap! WTH!?

  • Damian

    There goes the little glimpse of hope to gain some much needed Spectrum

  • running big stick

    one carrier to rule them all…

  • steveb944

    Well this is terrible news. Why the hell does AT&T get to buy their way to the top? Sheesh.

  • sidekicker89

    Cricket is all about unlimited everything and AT&T is not… why the heck would Cricket Customers agree to this? AT&T will just promise Cricket customers can “keep their low priced plans” for now until they screw them over later on! Hopefully the DOJ will see this is actually not good for the industry. AT&T has plenty of spectrum otherwise their LTE network wouldn’t be fast. Just tell them to shut down their 2G network and they will be FINE! They don’t need LEAP! I just wish T-Mobile would have acquired Leap sooner since i’m in one of the markets Cricket serves!

    • BlackLighted

      This acquisition is all about the AWS radio spectrum Leap owns.
      Just like AT&T had planned to do with T-Mobile customers, the Cricket customers will likely be sold off to someone else.

      • sidekicker89

        yes but doesn’t AT&T have enough spectrum as it is? how would this be good for competition? If AT&T didn’t have enough spectrum why do they have the “fastest” LTE speeds?

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          ATT has spectrum, but it has not been approved by the 3GPP, so no manufactures are making equipment for it. It may be middle of 2014 or even 2015 before we see ATT deploying and using WCS.

          The problem is that Sprint could pass them for fastest network with Clearwire’s spectrum. ATT’s bread and butter is Fastest Network moniker.

          Tmobile could also pass them when they start deploying 20×20, and if Tmobile were deploy 20×20 in a majority of markets, ATT could see customers flee to the faster unlimited networks.

        • kev2684

          i read somewhere WCS was approved for LTE late 2012…

  • sushimane

    Damn this sucks ass… the best thing tmobile can do is buy us cellular since they are buying their aws bands and buy c spire too

  • grimlim_82

    “reports continued to place T-Mobile as a frontrunner for possible takeover.”
    This part of the news makes me laugh, always adding some little hope even though its never true.

  • Clarkkent113

    Clearly this is corporate pettiness. AT&T doesn’t like that T-Mobile is disrupting the way carriers do business and making fun of the other three carriers in the process. AT&T also knew that if T-Mobile continued to acquire smaller wireless companies it could/will become a real threat in the industry.

    So, what does AT&T do? They randomly buy one of T-Mobile real potential acquisitions right from under them.

    • Sanjubaba

      Lol, that’s called business and why does that bother people, and who even knows that T-Mobile was going to buy it ?? Just rumors from T-Mobiles side, AT&T made it happen, you think AT&T could come out with such news in just just a matter of days, 1.18 Billion dollars cannot be coughed up in just a matter of days it takes a lot of planning, maybe it was Tmobile who tried to go after the deal thereafter.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        lol all we can do is wait and see what happens with this.

  • Zombiexm

    This only proves to the doj anr fcc that att and verizon need and will be limited in the low band spectrum. I can grantee if they try to buy all the nation wide 600 mhz theyll get anti just suits against them. Also this is a huge plus for tmobile. Cricket users are there for umlimited everything. Att will not stand for this and change all there plans to terid data at least and limited mins. Guess where the cricket userbase will go? Tmobile as sprints offering costs more and is the same coverage vs tmobile which has better coverage. This is the reason I left cricket the att merger rumor oh and the 1mb high download speed and the 1 kb throttled data speed rolls eye tmobiles edge is better then cricket when you hit your limit now its umlimited so anthor plus for people to go to tmobile.

    • A Torn Wireless User

      Actually, this might just be what AT&T needed to roll out their newest pre-paid offerings called AIO (aiowireless-dot-com)!

      AIO was launched not too long ago (in FL & TX) and is completely unlimited everything, yes including data, on 2 plans. Their $55. plan offers 2GB’s of 4G data then throttles and the $70 plan offers 7GB’s of 4G data, then throttles, but is all unlimited.

      It actually mirrors most of Leap/Cricket’s package offerings. Instead of 1GB of slower 3G data on Cricket for $55, they’ll now get 2GB’s, if AT&T converts Leap/Cricket over to AIO. And AIO’s website confirmed that they were only in FL & TX for the time being, so I feel they bought Leap/Cricket to expand and roll out more nationally. And this is how they may get through the approval process.

      AIO (an AT&T owned MVNO) uses AT&T’s network, so AT&T will most likely take the spectrum and integrate it into their network & just convert the Leap/Cricket into AIO customers, so it will be a rebranding effort for them. The average user will not see any difference other than a new name on their phone company & at some point, a new phone with a SIM card.

      Actually, this is awesome, because AIO was created to compete with T-Mobile’s new Un-Carrier program, and it does so very well, also keeping T-Mobile honest by forcing them to keep the Un-Carrier instead of scrapping it like they did the Even More Plus years ago. Now, T-Mobile can concentrate on obtaining some/all of the 600MHz auction when it comes up soon.

      Cricket in many area’s runs off of Sprint’s towers, of course this will be phased out soon enough in favour of the AT&T towers, which will benefit the Cricket customers, with faster speeds (going from 1Mbps up to 4Mbps or higher can’t be a bad thing).

      No, I’m not an AT&T fanboy, I use both T-Mobile and AT&T. My AT&T has better coverage in a city of about 1 Million people and it has LTE, whereas T-Mobile has several area’s of 2G and No Signal within the center of the city, yet, I do hold out for the T-Mobile LTE rollout that has been pushed back 2 times already by the corporate store employees.

      • superg05

        thats interesting but that also means now there trying to wipe the floor with all MVNO’s and that’s anti-competitive to try to take the primary and the sub-markets

  • TMoFan

    Too bad T-Mobile wasn’t able to strike a deal with Leap, but at least they completed the spectrum swap back in October. I don’t think this deal warrants a denial given that Leap is not a national carrier. I would like to see it heavily scrutinized though, and concessions applied if necessary.

    Now that at&t is going to buy out Leap T-Mobile needs to focus on the 600mhz auction. Out of the big four T-Mobile has no sub-1000 mhz spectrum outside a small patch in Myrtle Beach. Frankly all the non-Twin Bell companies need to make a lot of noise about that. If the Twin Bells are allowed unfettered participation the consequences will have a damaging effect on competition.

  • Noah James

    well this is shoching. We could have benefited from the AWS but sadly it is not to be. The FCC still has to clear the deal correct? so there is a smallI bit of hope that AT&T will get denied and T-Mobile can fix the mistake they are making.

  • Noah James

    if you are not on board with AT&T buying Leap our best and really the only option is to write in telling why if they buy Leap ( Cricket) it won’t be a good move for the consumers of Cricket. Heck write in to T-Mobile tell them to make a counter offer for Leap & why it would be a good move.

  • Noah James

    People are saying that US Cellular is the only option left for T-mobile. What about track phone? ( straight talk & net 10?) do they not count because they are MVNOS?

    • kalel33

      T-mobile wouldn’t gain anything by buying them except customers. MVNOs don’t have spectrum, towers, or much for assets.

      • http://www.makeuseof.com Danny Stieben

        Buying an MVNO that uses TMo’s network is pointless — you’re not even buying the customers because they’re already yours.

        • Noah James

          I got it. I don’t know what I was thinking.

  • Trevnerdio

    When such a monster of a company buys a small company like this, it totally defeats the purpose of getting the small carrier in the first place. People generally get small carriers because they prefer them over the extremely large ones. Now, with AT&T at the helm, their customers are gonna be none too happy.

  • bleeew

    Lets pretend ATT bought Cricket. Will this make the FCC avoid ATT to buy 600Mhz spectrum? In other words AT&T can not get it as easily?

    • superg05

      if that’s the case lets hope

  • Jeff

    Excellent news, AT&T is a great ethical organization. Where employee’s color is not factor for their employment status, unlike certain companies where corrupt directors (Jon P), can decide your future no matter how good you perform, no matter how good your work ethics are or how much experience you have, damn skin color. Organization where HR and legal team work to protect such corrupt directors are destined to doom….

    Anyway this is a great news, I hope AT&T is blessed with all success.

    • Paul

      Someone is butt-hurt by Magenta.

      • Mike

        Butt hurt? What is this? Battle Pirates on Facebook?

    • Paul

      Now that I saw a comment you left; STOP POSTING YOUR PROPAGANDA IN THESE FORUMS!

      It’s the same damn message. If you had a bad experience, or disagree with Magenta’s business practices, then that sucks for you. No need to post the same BORING message in each forum.

      Stay on subject.

    • bakgwailo

      Or maybe you just sucked at your job so they fired you?

    • $15454173

      There is a plane waiting for you Jeff. China first, then a Russian airport where you can be with Snowden.

    • Jose Hernandez

      David, is there anything that can be done about this? He keeps posting this nonsense on just about every article.

      He needs to stay on topic or not be allowed to post this nonsense.

      Sorry, just getting tired of this everywhere you look.

      • thepanttherlady

        I did mark the majority of the other posts as spam for David to review but left this one because it was more on topic than the other were.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Thank you, I would never dream of trying to stop someones right to speech, but this is just not cool.

  • Alex Zapata

    Ok T-Mobile, here’s the game plan: buy US cellular and then use carrier aggregation. On an actually serious note, this is how big business works. AT&T needs/ wants more spectrum and they have deep pockets. We’ll see how things turn out.

    • superg05

      they don’t need they have tons unused they don’t want anyone else to have the ability to be a competitor with them at all so they’ll try to buy it all

      • Alex Zapata

        Ummm…. you do realize I’m not being serious, right? T-mobile does need sub 1GHz spectrum though, but they’ve gotta do something with their unused AWS first.

        • superg05

          ummm… you do realize i was referring to at&t right and that i was saying they have plenty of spectrum right? so it was not a need right?

        • Alex Zapata

          Ahhh, my bad I didn’t realize you were referring to them. I don’t think LEAP would be that useful to T-Mobile, but US cellular with their lovely 700 MHz and 850 MHz chunks might be. Maybe not in Illinois but elsewhere.

  • emcdonald75

    Tmobile does not need anymore spectrum until the 600 MHz spectrum is available, and then they will need as much as they can possibly afford. Now Tmobile needs to upgrade all of their towers, like Sprint, to HSPA+ and LTE. Even if they upgrade their current towers in rural areas without building new towers, people will join and enjoy better service. EDGE IS THE PROBLEM! Verizon and AT&T do not cover every area completely but the areas that are covered are 3G/4G, NOT 2G. Tmobile is using their high frequency bands as an excuse not to upgrade their 2G areas. THAT IS WRONG!

  • Jody Smith

    This is a great move by AT&T. Love them or hate ‘em they scored well with this.

    AT&T has never been really strong on prepaid in the past but now they have an instant prepaid following with just over 5 million customers. With this new acquisition they now serve 112 million connections.

    The benefit for Cricket users is a plethora of new devices, a huge (nation’s fastest) LTE nationwide network and a parent company with the marketing dollars to get the word out.

    AT&T gets back some of the AWS spectrum it lost to T-Mobile plus extra PCS spectrum that will suit it well for carrier aggregation. Make no mistake about it: AT&T wants to show off a LTE Advanced network and will use everything it has including excess PCS airwaves to make this happen.

    T-Mobile does not need more AWS or PCS spectrum. They have more than they need at the moment. What they need to do it actually build out all this spectrum they have in rural markets but so far they refuse to do so despite having over 50k cell sites already in place and spaced for PCS.

    T-Mobile could gun for 600 MHz spectrum (if it goes for auction) but again are they going to actually go out of their comfort zone and build out rural markets? This is yet to be seen and just conjecture up to this point.

  • BigMixxx

    While im not a death star fan. Very strategic move up pick up leap. They dont need anything they have except to kill the sprint agreement, verizon agreement and hurr t mobile.

    T mobile should counter offer and fight….

    • Chris

      I agree T-Mobile needs to go after LEAP !!!

  • rod

    I really hope the Justice Department blocks this merger. The last thing any of us need is ATT or Verizon squashing compatition and hogging up all the valuable airwaves. ATT already has all the spectrum it needs , this deal benefits no one.

    • GinaDee

      Why do you want our govt. to block this? Are you a communist?

      Do you realize that if you remove the Clearwire spectrum from Sprint it would be T-Mobile that has the most spectrum per user when it’s broken down?

      T-Mobile is the one who isn’t building out its airwaves outside of cities and is sitting on tons of unused spectrum. They’ve been sitting on AWS airwaves nationwide covering most of the country but they feel their customers deserve a 2G only experience when they leave any populated area.

      AT&T has over 107 million subs, has a presence in parts of rural America and needs whatever spectrum it can get.

      At a certain point govt. leeches need to think about why they want their govt. to pick winners and losers. It’s like if there was a marathon you’d want to make sure that the govt. forces the judges to give all participants the Gold Medal even the ones who came in last.

      T-Mobile needs to compete by growing their network, making smart acquisitions and putting up the cash to buy spectrum when auctions allow. We don’t need the govt. propping up a German majority block of shareholders from DT who were never interested in building out their network until the 11th hour.

      • john

        I hope you also realize that Att has the money, they made a 3.7 billion dollar profit last quarter. Tmobile on the other hand doesnt make $3.7 billion profit in a whole year. WIth this extra money Att is able spend on network improvements. Also with the spectrum Tmobile has it is not economical to build out
        their 4g network to less populated areas. AWS spectrum doesnt travel
        very far nor does it have great building penetration. Whereas ATT has massive chucks of sub-1000mhz spectrum to cover the less populated areas. Have you even checked the speeds on ATT 3g in West Virginia, they are not very fast max speeds of 300kbps. The reason for this is because ATT doesnt want to spend money improving their network in less populated areas even though they have the financial power and the massive amounts of spectrum. Just because it says 3g on your phone doesnt mean its faster.

        Please stop complaining that tmobile doesnt have service outside of cities. Tmobile is primarily a urban carrier and will always be until they can get a $10 billion cash infusion. If you live in a rural area on EDGE than stop complaining and switch to ATT.

        • Michael Perez

          Interesting post. Can you state the sources for this information for further reading?

        • GinaDee

          T-Mobile has a 2G network all over the country. Those sites can be used for AWS HSPA or LTE deployment too. T-Mobile doesn’t have to build the entire network from scratch.

          3G speeds in rural West Virginia are irrelevant. The govt. doesn’t need to hand T-Mobile anything on a silver platter.

          T-Mobile’s parent company refused for over a decade to invest any real money into its US network. They refused to take part in the 700 MHz auction as they were trying to sell off the company.

          It’s nobody’s fault but their own that they have to relegate themselves to the smaller scrappy urban carrier they are today. If they want low band spectrum they have to bid on and buy it like everyone else. The lazy attitude that the govt. has to step in and allow T-Mobile special consideration for any upcoming auction is the welfare mentality. Auctions should not be rigged in the favor of any company. It should be fair game for those who are willing to spend.

          Company’s who cannot make it should be allowed to fail the natural way. Those who are successful likewise should reap their rewards.

          I’m really bothered by the attitude of so many 20 something’s nowadays that everyone has to be the winner. AT&T and Verizon have invested and invested and invested money into the American economy over the past decade. Their management teams had the foresight to capitalize on opportunities to secure future growth. AT&T alone invested 95 billion in the US economy over the past 5 years. T-Mobile only decides to upgrade after it got some break up money from a buyout that never happened. Imagine if they never got that money?

        • DR

          Hey Gina, in principle I think you’re right. The problem is when you have basically an oligopoly to begin with (only 4 major nationwide carriers), HUGE barriers to entry such as spare cash in the BILLIONS to even think about entering the nation-wide cell phone market, competition itself is already on life support. If even ONE of the players “fail(s) the natural way” it becomes that much easier for the remaining ones to collude and further screw customers, until eventually there’s just one giant monopoly that can charge whatever the heck it wants and has no incentive to produce better products/services.
          It could be argued that patents/copyrights themselves are not laissez-faire capitalism, but without them there would be not much innovation because new ideas/inventions could be stolen–so there would be no incentive to invest and risk money on R&D). So to “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”, the founders included patents and copyrights in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Anyone interested, read Federalist Paper #43 for more insight on the founders’ thoughts on the matter.
          But bottom line, like T-Mo or not, the wireless industry (with relatively few major players) is not that competitive to begin with, and consumers benefit more if there remain 4 strong cell-phone carriers instead of just 3. Plus T-Mo is the one eliminating restricting contracts and making the whole cell-phone process more transparent for Americans. They’re doing this largely because they’re the underdog and need to shake things up. I hope they succeed on their own right, and I am absolutely not advocating government hand-outs to T-Mo, but I also don’t want one of the other three to gain an insurmountable advantage simply by merging with other companies and hogging bandwith (which by the way is actually a limited resource, unlike most other things in capitalist markets). If the other three are going to win, it should be because they innovated (i.e. “value plans,” “jump,” no more contracts) and gave consumers better options and more competition.

        • spritemoney

          I agree with you 100% DR.

        • spritemoney

          To Gina:
          My viewpoints in politics is VERY libertarian based, although I’m not a full libertarian, many of my viewpoints are towards libertarian views. I also highly believe in the free market. The cell phone market is so unique that you NEED the government to regulate it. Calling somebody is communist is an very ignorant thing to say in the telecommunication industry. The telecommunication industry (regarding with the carriers) needs more COMPETITION in order for it to be better. The government forces competition, because in a truly unregulated free market economy monopolies always form. One reason we have price controls on some of our utilities (electricity, natural gas) is because it is very pricy for a competitor to build a similar product. The telecommunication industry is very very unique and this is why you have the FCC regulate it. I’m not saying we should introduce price controls in the telecommunication industry but there needs to be more competition and it shouldn’t always be about the dollar value. What would have happened if deal for AT&T to acquire T-Mobile closed? Everything would be worse for the consumer today. In many other industries I would totally agree with you and the government should not pick the winner or losers, but in the landscape of the telecommunications industry there needs to be a common sense approach and not allow the big guys (Verizon and AT&T) to acquire everything. You shouldn’t have one (or two) carriers hoard on the entire wireless spectrum licenses.

          The government picking the a winner of the phone industry (similar to the pre AT&T breakup) that was completely wrong, if it wasn’t for that monopoly there would be so much innovation today.

          I believe the FCC should do their job and promote competition and allow each carriers a fair and equal shot, especially the ones with a least amount of spectrum, they should get some special treatment. If it was on who has the most money AT&T and Verizon would buy all of the spectrum, and we need to avoid duopolies. AT&T and Verizon owns so many spectrum licenses so they don’t have to hoard more, allow other carriers to own more spectrum licenses.

          The “competition” between AT&T and Verizon is like this:

          Verizon raises their prices by $20 and the next week AT&T raises their price by $20. Yeah that’s the kind of competition that a duopoly has. If you live in a rural area you have no other options and THEY know that. The government needs more incentives to allow carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile to make the landscape more friendlier for them.

          This comes from a free market leaning Libertarian. I know the advantages (and limits) of the free market. Calling somebody Communist for wanting the FCC to step in is ridiculous.

        • GinaDee

          T-Mobile has a very small amount of subscribers when compared to AT&T and when you do the math T-Mobile has more spectrum per MHz per customer than AT&T does. AT&T physically has more spectrum by numbers but they also serve over 107 million subscribers.

          My point is that T-Mobile was owned by a mega corp European Telecom giant who refused to invest properly in its US network for a decade. Their business model was to provide a bare bone network at cheap prices which exempt themselves from spending the capital necessary to compete and grow.

          I don’t believe the US Govt. has to now step and in hold T-Mobile’s hand just to keep them relevant.

      • Rod

        Because you know that in the 80s the DOJ broke up AT&T because they were a monopoly in the phone industry and were using that position to drive up phone prices. Because even after breaking up in two 8 separate companies (Baby Bells) to “foster competition in the telephone industry”, AT&T and Verizon (which are both started out as AT&T) are number #1 and #2. Because its ATT and Verizon’s fault that T-Mobile couldn’t build out a 3G network until the 11th hour. ATT was able to build out its 3G using excess spectrum it had been sitting on since the cell phone was invented; whereas T-Mobile had to wait till the Gov auctioned off AWS to have enough spectrum.
        On the note of spectrum, the DOJ/FCC already told ATT they have too much spectrum/market share to consider buying competition, thats why they blocked the T-Mobile acquisition.

  • Paul

    When t-mobile gets rid of EDGE, it will jump to the 3rd best carrier in the US

    • Spanky

      I think T-Mobile is already the 3rd best carrier in the US; not 3rd biggest, but 3rd best. Sprint is quite possibly the worst carrier our there.

      • FuturePS4Gamer

        I agree, no LTE, super slow 3G, and expensive plans

  • ClausWillSeeYouNow

    Dish Network, here we come!

    (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

  • Chris

    I hope T-Mobile does a counter offer and goes after LEAP Screw AT&T !!! LETS GO T-MOBILE !!!

  • Whitney

    Dish Network anyone? Screw you AT&T I should had switch to Dish Network